From The Department Of Completely Predictable Consequences
New York Governor David Paterson discovers the gee-who-coulda-seen-this-coming fact that jacking up marginal tax rates is bad for the economy and not all that helpful to the budget: [E]arly revenue figures suggest that taxing the wealthy more under this year’s state budget may have driven away richer New Yorkers. That could make the economic comeback for the state even harder. “You heard the mantra, ‘Tax | Read More »
General McChrystal to Obama: More Troops Or I Quit!
If you are old enough to remember the George W. Bush Administration and the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns, you will recall that a favorite theme of critics of Bush’s war management was that Bush hadn’t listened to Army brass asking for more troops in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. In particular, the Democrats practically made a secular saint of General Eric Shinseki, who supposedly was fired | Read More »
Where I Was On September 11
Until September 11, 2001, I worked in the World Trade Center, halfway up Tower One. I wasn’t doing political blogging at the time, but was writing “the Baseball Crank” as a weekly baseball column for the online edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. Here’s my account of that day, written for ProJo two days later while it was all still fresh; we have run this | Read More »
Obama Health Care Speech Open Thread
If this works properly, you should be able to watch the live YouTube feed here: [Closed, now that the speech is over: it's now a WH talking-points snoozefest. - Moe Lane]
When Does School Start? The President Doesn’t Know
There’s been a lot of controversy about President Barack Obama’s plan to give a speech to the nation’s public (only public) schoolchildren on September 8 (the Tuesday after Labor Day), a controversy Caleb Howe comprehensively summarizes here. The problem isn’t the President giving a pro-education message to the nation’s kids, something that’s part of any president’s job; the problem is the specter of enlisting of | Read More »
Stimulus For Convicts
See, conservatives are in the habit of pointing out that when you start handing out money, you start losing track of where it goes (or at least, losing the ability to defend where it goes with a straight face). Whereas the worst thing that can happen when you let people keep their own money is, they do what they want with the money they have | Read More »
Obama’s Big Spending Numbers
Heritage’s Brian Riedl crunches some of the still-staggering numbers on the Democrats’ spending spree, including the fact that the projected 2009 budget deficit is larger than the Bush budget deficits for FY 2002-2007 (the six years when Bush had a Republican Congress to work with) combined. A worthwhile fact to recall when dealing with liberals who cannot comprehend how one could be more concerned about | Read More »
Ted Kennedy, Workhorse Lawmaker
It is traditional, upon the passing of an important and famous person – however controversial – to find some good words to say. This is not an easy task in the case of Ted Kennedy, a man whose personal life ranged from alcoholism to debauchery to sexual harrassment to (sadly, uncharged) second-degree murder, and whose public career entailed the embrace of nearly every foolish, ruinous | Read More »
There’s No Such Thing As A Death Panel. There’s No Such Thing As A Death Panel. There’s No Such Thing As A Death Panel.
A reminder, from last year, of what state-run health care can turn into: H/T RS’ own Brian Faughnan has more on the Oregon case (“The compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the Postal Service”); Nat Hentoff has more on the current debate.
Where Are The Cost Cuts Going To Come From?
One of the central selling points used by President Obama to push the Democrats’ health care plan is the notion that a comprehensive overhaul of the health care system will reduce costs. But costs to who, and how? Let’s step back a minute and try to figure out how Obama’s cost-cutting argument could possibly be so.
Obamacare and the Ghost of Terri Schiavo
NPR’s headline on yesterday’s town hall on health care by President Obama: Obama Says His Health Plan Won’t ‘Pull The Plug On Grandma’ The NY Daily News had a similar headline using that quote in this morning’s print edition, as does this Reuters item; the NY Post less delicately shortens the headline to ‘WE WON’T PULL PLUG ON GRANNY’. This is not the place the | Read More »
Michael Kinsley and the Lobbyist Factory
Michael Kinsley’s singularly ungracious column in the Washington Post yesterday took the occasion of the death of longtime Democratic Beltway lobbyist Anne Wexler to denounce that favorite scapegoat of liberals, the influence of lobbyists in Washington. But Kinsley is not serious about the influence of lobbyists, because unaddressed in his diatribe is the source of their power in the first place.
Obama’s Health Care Strategy: Vote First, Sell Second
One of the most elusive concepts in politics is the notion of a mandate. Presidents love to claim them to bulldoze opposition (“the American people elected me to do this!”), but they can evaporate with astonishing speed, most famously in the case of the backlash against Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Court-packing” plan after FDR had won the most sweeping electoral endorsement for any party in a | Read More »
Our Incurious, Insular President
If we learned one lesson from the media from the 2008 campaign, it’s that telling Katie Couric you do not read a lot of newspapers is an absolute disqualifier for the presidency. (This is aside from how the media reacted to President Bush saying he didn’t pay much attention to the newspapers). So, when Couric confronted President Obama with criticisms in an uncharacteristically O-negative David | Read More »
Yes, We Are Activists At RedState. So Is “Talking Points Memo”
David Kurtz of the aptly-named left-wing activist site Talking Points Memo complains that RedState has “no interest in being journalists. That’s not what they’re about and that’s not what they see as their primary function, which is advocacy.” His basis for this complaint is emails from Erick to the office of Governor Mark Sanford during Sanford’s now-infamous absence, seeking comment and offering to help get | Read More »
Sarah Palin and the Scum of the Earth
If there is a lesson to be learned from Sarah Palin’s withdrawal from public office, it is this: if you want to take out a female politician, you go after her children. There is likely no one and single reason for Palin’s withdrawal, and she cited a bunch of them in her disorganized “you won’t have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore” speech. But two | Read More »
The Sad Story of Steve McNair: The Moralizers Were Right
My initial reaction, besides horror, to the shooting death of former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair was to try to hide from the story. I was always a fan of McNair, and will never forget the heartbreak of the Titans’ just-a-yard-short drive against the Rams in the Super Bowl. Like Kirby Puckett, McNair was a guy whose virtues on and around the field of play | Read More »
Sanford Steps Out, But The Battle Continues
Perhaps the most telling moment in the past few days’ controversy over South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s absence and subsequent revelation that he’d been visiting his mistress in Argentina came during the period when his staff was putting out the story that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail, and the Democratic National Committee rushed out a press release blaring that the Trail had received stimulus | Read More »
Obama Asks Questions That Have Very Obvious Answers
This is from Obama’s press conference yesterday: President Barack Obama on Tuesday squared off with the insurance lobby over industry charges that a government health plan he backs would dismantle the employer coverage Americans have relied on for a half-century and overtake the system…. “If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care … then why is it that the government, | Read More »
Through The Looking Glass With Andrew Sullivan
My always-worth-reading New Ledger colleague, Christopher Badeaux, has the definitive and exhaustive profile of Andrew Sullivan’s work and the obsessions that have defined him as a writer and wasted so much of Sullivan’s prodigious writing talents. You’ll want to print this one out and digest it at leisure. Here’s the opening: